Shonen Knife


Slap Rash

You’d think having two wheels on a car would be a disadvantage in terms of road-worthy technicality; likely it would but since I’m using it as an analogy for this half-quartet, exception is granted. The labour constraints compel the duo to juggle their rhythm-but-also-lead instrumental roles with a sort of sing-speak megaphone broadcast-type vocal strategy; the fluidity of their dynamic created has this pulsating effect that is matched by the overly blunt lyrics that appear relatable (Zone A?).

Their intuition of one another is quite clearly the propelling factor that sets them apart from other punk-derived entities littering up the municipal landscape of Manchester, alongside a seeming heat-resistant zeal that in my mind yanked the magic carpet straight from the headliner.

Shonen Knife

Vaunted as one of K-Records’ crown cutlery adjournments, I metaphorically cart-wheeled at the chance of getting to cover a band embroidered in a sort of cult esteem about as easy to understand as allowing Google to transcribe a foreign language best seller. The trio showcase a number of cuts from their latest recording effort, Sweet Candy Power; the knack for simplicity and putting song topics such as lemon trees, cute animals and ice cream cookie sandwiches into the popular consensus provides a reassurance from the particularly torrid weather.

The economical drumming and the melodic basslines, in conjunction with their harmonies/engaging vocal melodies display that they haven’t lost their youth in spite of their nearly 40 years in existence; the Beatles/Beach Boys touch ever omnipotent. The heavy metal guitar unison dance thing feels like they are mocking a rather goofy stage mechanic, but since the actual sound of the guitar is highly reminiscent of that era I am left to wonder.

Their ability to wear their influences on their sleeve makes for a sound that doesn’t seem to date or tire, a kind of endearing quality countless pop bands can never quite grasp onto. It’s not as though this band is on the cutting edge of musical progression, that was never their intention, but the overly whimsical themes do start to wear a bit thin as their set progresses, almost as though mixing old and new material (standard procedure) which in turn causes their set to feel off-pace and imbalanced in some way, as by all accounts they have never failed to win the hearts of the audience. Perhaps I am being too cynical in reading into what really is simply pop orientated guitar music, but to tow the line and heap praise on a celebrated act when it hasn’t quite lived up to expectation would amount to a journalistic affront.

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Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.